Editor's message: Under a series of local and national lockdown restrictions, the position has been that all employees who can work from home should do so.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted across the UK, the advice on returning to the workplace is different depending on where your business is located. As public health is a devolved matter, HR in organisations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should follow the guidance and comply with the restrictions that apply to your location.
While many employers will continue to support homeworking where this is possible, HR needs to plan for a safe return to the workplace for those who come back. The UK Government’s “COVID-19 secure” guidelines set out a process for employers to follow, based around risk assessment and implementing measures to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Where your organisation is considering implementing a hybrid working model, to build on some of the benefits arising from remote working during the pandemic, you will need to consult with staff before making any decisions.
HR will be required to manage the needs of employees with particular circumstances that make it difficult or impossible for them to attend the workplace, such as health concerns, childcare or transport issues. Applying a blanket approach to all employees will not be appropriate.
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Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
HR and legal information and guidance relating to workplace management during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.